Two Oakland residents have been charged with tax fraud after allegedly filing tax returns electronically under other people’s names, according to federal prosecutors.
Defendant Akysha Rockwell made her initial appearance on Monday and Paul Lamont Lee made his initial appearance on Friday in federal court on a 20-count indictment.
The pair face charges including conspiracy to file false claims, false claims, and identity fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Lee and Rockwell were indicted on March 13.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Lee and Rockwell obtained and helped others obtain refunds from the Internal Revenue Service based on false claims between Jan. 12, 2012, and July 16, 2012.
Prosecutors said Lee and Rockwell allegedly obtained names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for numerous people.
The defendants then allegedly filed federal income tax returns electronically in the names of other people, claiming refunds derived from false tax credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit, Haag said.
The maximum penalty for each count of conspiracy to file false claims is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. For each count of false claims, the maximum penalty is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum penalty for each count of identity fraud is two years in prison and a fine of $250,000, according to prosecutors.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Moore is prosecuting the case, which is the result of an investigation by the IRS.
Comment Advisement We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.